RADIO 2AY listeners have hit back at claims by the station’s management they want more music programs and less talkback.
There were dozens of responses on The Border Mail website yesterday to a story about the station’s decision to dump Melbourne-based host Derryn Hinch in the weekday drive-time slot.
Respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining talkback programs and particularly those with local content.
Many people rejected the predominantly music format, defended by Ace Radio managing director, Stephen Everett, on Wednesday, arguing there were plenty of other options available in Albury-Wodonga if they wanted to listen only to music.
They were cynical about the reasoning behind the change, with many viewing it as a cost-cutting exercise on the part of station management.
Some listeners said they now made a switch from 2AY to other radio stations after midday, following the Steve Block and Neil Mitchell programs.
Others had chosen to switch off the station altogether and some are now listening to talkback programs from Melbourne station 3AW via the internet.
While not everyone claimed they were a fan of Derryn Hinch, there were many disappointed that another talkback program hosted daily between 8pm and midnight by Stuart Bocking had also been replaced.
Several respondents wanted to know why the locally based program hosted by former 2AY talkback announcer Richard Perno had been axed in January.
Mr Perno is now hosting a similar program on Dubbo station 2DU between 10am and 2pm.
Yesterday, he was surprised at news that Derryn Hinch’s program, which had been relayed from 3AW, had been axed.
“I never thought they’d do that,” Mr Perno said.
“I think it’s very sad considering what we had while we were on air there.
“We had the finger on the pulse of what was going on and were the mediator of thoughts held by the general public.”
Mr Perno said radio stations could hardly claim to be local if they were generating fewer locally based programs.
He said he missed the region and his radio colleagues from 2AY.
“I’m a little sad it’s gone pear-shaped. There were a lot of good people there,” he said.